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A Sure Foundation




The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy is going to fall. Scientists travel to the town of Pisa every year to measure the building’s slow descent. They report that the 179-foot tower, which was built in 1173, moves about one-twentieth of an inch a year, and is now 17 feet out of plumb.

Recent renovations may have saved the 849-year-old tower and may prevent it from collapsing. It is significant that the word “pisa” means “marshy land”, which gives some clue as to why the tower began to lean even before it was completed.

Also, another issue is the fact that its foundation is only 10 feet deep. The reason the Leaning Tower of Pisa is leaning is because it is built on a faulty foundation.

Read: Matthew 7:24-27

This passage we have just read is about two builders, each of them built a house. They built their houses on two different types of foundations with two different results.

In this Parable, which we can call the Tale of Two Builders, Jesus teaches us that the foundation that we build our house on is of the utmost importance.

Let’s look at some of the elements of this parable that show us why the foundation of our lives matters.

First, this parable seems to speak about two very different types of people. The two people Jesus pictures here have several important characteristics in common….1. They both heard the Words of Christ. They heard Jesus share His message of faith and repentance (24-25). So, both builders knew the way of salvation. They both heard the Gospel and each one had a reaction to it.

Second, both men built houses based on their understanding of what Jesus said. The house in this parable is a picture of life. That is, each man built a life based on how they interpreted the message of Jesus. This means that both builders believed the message up to a certain point. They each applied the words of Jesus to their lives as they saw fit.

Third, they were both built in the same location (27). And then a storm came. The storm affected both houses.

Fourth, both men built similar houses. Nothing is said about the houses being different. They used the same, or similar materials. From the outside of the houses, these two houses looked very much alike. In fact, they were so similar, you might not have been able to tell them apart. Possibly the color of the siding, or the shingles might have been different. But they have the same shape, the same size, the same floor plan, and on and on.

This picture we have just described here is a picture of people and how they respond differently to the Gospel message.

We need to understand here that the Gospel is very simple. Here it is.

Paul is writing to the church at Corinth – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4:

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received; how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”

That is the message that must be believed in order for a person to attain that salvation.

The Bible says it like this: “That if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

So, people hear that message, and they react to it in different ways. Regardless of how a person may react to it, they all build their houses based on what they think Jesus is saying.

We see that today among the wide variety of churches that exist. That is why when we read those passages of Paul concerning salvation but know that there is something more needed based on the truth from other scriptures.

We believe we must hear the Word, then believe the Word. Confess Jesus as the Son of God, our Savior, confess that we are sinners, repent of our sins, and be immersed into the Body of Christ.

Just because Paul doesn’t mention all that in these verses we have heard here, it doesn’t mean that those things are unnecessary. ie (Fruits of the Spirit, Fruits of Repentance)

Important note: There can always be more truths but you can never subtract truths

The people in the Parable have beliefs; they likely serve in and support the church. They are responsible citizens. They believe the same things and live the same kind of life very much. They appear to have a lot in common.

Although there are many similarities among these people, there are some major differences.

One man built his house on the sand. He did little or no preparation. He found a lot and started building. Sand is unstable and ever-changing – you have heard of “shifting sand.” There is no stability in sand so it can never provide a firm foundation.

So, the one who builds his house on sand in the context of the parable, speaks of people who hear the Gospel, but fail to believe it. Rather than developing faith in Jesus, they believe they can build their lives on the shifting sands of human philosophy, wisdom, opinion, and religious achievement. They are driven by outward appearances. Their faith is in themselves, rather than in the Lord Jesus Christ.

What happens then is that they choose to follow God on their own terms, on how they “feel” about it. They develop a smorgasbord practice – picking and choosing the things they will believe and practice and leave the others alone.

Every aspect of their lives is driven by self. Self-will, self-fulfillment, self-sufficient, and self-righteous. Their religion is works based rather than faith based.

Paul calls these out in 2 Timothy 3:5 when he describes these people as: “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, from such turn away.”

People build on the sand because it is easy. They build their relationship with Jesus Christ the same way as long as they appear to be serving Him, they are satisfied. No commitment, no sacrifice, and no faith, except that which they have in themselves.

So, now let’s look at the other builder and see how he builds his house. In Matthew 7:25 we see the result of a house built on a solid foundation. “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house, and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.” The words used there, in the original language mean “a bedrock.” This builder dug deep until he reached the bedrock and built his house on that rock. The rock does not move; it is unchanging and stable. No shifting of the rock, so it is a good foundation.

Building on the rock describes people who hear the Gospel and believe it to the point that they build their lives on it.

The “rock” is the Gospel. It is the same rock mentioned in Matthew 16:16-18. A very familiar passage to us where Jesus asked Peter who he thinks Jesus is. Peter’s reply was built upon the rock as he says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. “

People who build on the rock understand that Jesus is the only power that can save their souls. They hear His Word, and they conform their lives to that Word. John 14:6 tells us that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to God except through the Son, Jesus Christ.

These people hear the truth about Jesus; they believe it; they embrace it; they yield every part of their lives to it. That message of Christ changes their lives.

The house (life) built on the rock is built by one who realized that God deserves the very best. They sacrifice, they work, and they do everything to honor the Lord. They love Him, honor Him, and obey Him. They make Him and His Word the foundation of their lives.

So, two people each build a house. Very different houses. But both are built based on how they hear and respond to the Gospel.

One built on a firm foundation of faith in the Gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The other is built on the shifting sand of religion, works, and self-righteousness.

The question each of us needs to consider and answer is this: What kind of life am I building right now?

Every one of us here this morning is building a spiritual house. Every day we add boards, drive nails, and add on rooms to try to improve our house. We can do all that, do all kinds of good works in the name of the Lore. But, regardless of what we do to the house, we are building, what matters most is the foundation.

Be very sure you are building on Jesus Christ and the Gospel.

We are either a believer of the Gospel and in Jesus as Lord, or we have a false religion and a false hope of salvation. Salvation comes only from knowing Jesus Christ as Savior.

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